Microsoft says it’s investigating a difficulty in Windows that’s inflicting software shortcuts within the Start menu or taskbar to vanish. Multiple IT admins have detailed the problem on Twitter and Reddit this morning, and it seems to be associated to a latest replace to the Microsoft Defender risk detections.

The downside is affecting companies and organizations utilizing Microsoft 365 and Defender for cover towards malware, viruses, and different threats. In a note to customers, Microsoft says it has acquired studies {that a} sure assault floor discount (ASR) rule is inflicting the issues. IT admins are presently making an attempt to work across the subject by setting the “Block Win32 API calls from Office macro” rule to audit solely.

“This has caused a bad day,” says one IT admin on Twitter, replying to Microsoft’s acknowledgment of the problem. “Happy Friday 13th!” joked another. IT admins are scrambling to repair the issue and convey the shortcuts again, with many having to inform their Windows customers to manually launch their apps from the place they’re put in or through the use of Start > Run and the executable title.

Three IT admins presently experiencing the issue at their organizations have confirmed to The Verge that each one shortcuts have disappeared — and never simply ones to Microsoft purposes.

Regular Windows customers and shoppers aren’t affected by this unusual bug, and it’ll solely have an effect on managed machines inside organizations. That’s nonetheless a whole lot or 1000’s of machines inside large companies that depend on Microsoft’s risk detection safety.

We’ve reached out to Microsoft to touch upon the state of affairs, and we’ll replace you accordingly.

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